Yahoo7 and The Guardian suffer more than 10% decline in latest Nielsen rankings

A number of Australia’s major news publishers suffered digital audience declines of more than 5% in April, with The Guardian dropping by 14%, new Nielsen figures show.

The latest digital ratings monthly (DRM) figures saw The Guardian Australia fall from 2.810m to 2.457m for the month of April while Yahoo7 News – which was recently sold back to Oath – fell by 12% from 3.154m to 2.816m.

The Guardian took one of the biggest hits this month and The Daily Mail Australia both fell by 5%, to audiences of 5.586m and 2.328m. was able to retain its lead over other publishers, while Daily Mail Australia’s dip saw the publisher come behind The Guardian, MSN News and the BBC. Daily Mail Australia is now tenth according to the news rankings.

The only websites to see an increase were, up 2% to a unique audience of 3.609m, the BBC, which was up 5% from 2.359m to 2.490m and the Herald Sun, which swelled by 10% to 2.464m.

But Fairfax Media’s data does not include volumetrics, such as time per person and sessions per person, due to its withdrawal from Nielsen’s other metric – Digital Content Ratings – earlier this year.

Fairfax Media’s removal affects the sites’ digital ratings monthly as tagging is used in combination with panel based data to measure sessions per person and time spent on site – otherwise known as volumetrics. Time spent per site is often seen as an indicator of audience value, as opposed to audience reach.

ABC News Websites plateaued, with a unique audience of 4.731m.

Nielsen would not disclose this month’s DRM figures for the small to medium publishers – which Mumbrella has previously reported.

Mumbrella understands one of the reasons for this is DRM methodology does not accurately measure the small to medium publishers. Nielsen told Mumbrella it only ever published top ten, with other additional sites on an ‘adhoc basis’. Mumbrella has had access to these numbers for more than 18 months.

Nielsen did not comment on whether publishers had asked these numbers to be masked, whether it believed DRM’s methodology was accurate or what media agencies were trading on. It also could not comment as to why the top 10 were still being released, in addition to the smaller publishers. It did not comment as to why it was using DRM in its recently renewed contract with The Readership Works. 

It told Mumbrella DRM was an ‘independent panel based measurement’ of all sites. Mumbrella understands Nielsen pays panellists for this service.

But in a release, Nielsen hinted these numbers will be no longer be the focus of monthly reports, with DCR monthly reporting to roll out from June.

It comes almost a year after Nielsen and the IAB launched DCR, which allows for measurement of off-platform audiences.

Monique Perry, Nielsen’s managing director of media, said the move was an “important milestone” on the digital measurement roadmap.

“From June 2018, the IAB Australia-endorsed digital rankings published will be monthly metrics from Nielsen DCR. The media industry has had visibility of the DCR expanded coverage via daily data for nearly 12 months and now we are excited to add both weekly and monthly audiences into DCR,” Perry said.

“Audiences are consuming content in different ways both on and off platform, they are using multiple devices to access content on websites, in apps and on video players. Having a measurement with expanded coverage of off-platform and more frequent delivery formats is crucial and offers a complete audience measure for publishers of all sizes,” Perry said.

“This is an important milestone on the IAB Australia digital measurement roadmap, and one our clients have certainly been eager for us to hit. We will communicate further around the use of both DCR and DRM in market, however we feel it’s important to let you know we intend to open up the DCR reporting frequencies and expanded coverage for the market to better inform digital media planning and buying, as well as publisher content strategies.”

Gai Le Roy, director of research, IAB Australia, said the move would allow publishers to report total audiences. “The need for independent, verified media metrics that are comparable across players is stronger than ever,” Le Roy said.

Mumbrella has approached Guardian Australia and Yahoo7 for comment.

March Results: Nielsen March figures show The Guardian Australia edge towards three million, others fall

February Results: SMH and The Age take digital ratings hit following Nielsen withdrawal

January Results: News, ABC and Nine see digital news growth in January following December slump


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